A sturdy platform built to receive vessels and efficiently process their personnel and cargo.

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Landing Pad sci-fi battle map - Mock-up

It’s always the simplest maps that bloom into something I really love! This one started out as a mere rectangle but, over time, blossomed into something I really enjoy.

As an artist who usually focuses on medieval fantasy, I lean a great deal on clutter to add interesting detail into scenes: rubble, overgrowth, book-piles, and that sort of thing. On the other hand, sci-fi often needs to be sleek and minimal. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m really encouraged by how this one came out.

This Landing Pad is my latest addition to our growing sci-fi collection, and I hope that it’s one day useful to you. Do you have any plans or ideas for it already? I’d love to hear about them in the comments, as well as your requests for future sci-fi art. 🙂

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About the author

Ross McConnell

DM, aspiring artist, and founder of 2-Minute Tabletop! I love drawing, writing, and worldbuilding, and this is the website where all of it comes together.

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  1. Or take away the stair and replace the cratered surface with streets and you have the top of a cyberpunk corp building… just need to add in a pop-up turret under one of those panels!

  2. OK, 30-minute creativity challenge. Go.

    Why isn't this pad part of a larger complex, and who put it there? Let's go with a roguish angle, and bring in some modern elements.

    There's a small network of outlying, sturdy platforms put there with major backing from a local criminal syndicate. The planet has seen some ground conflict recently (note shell-sized craters), and they're stepping into areas the government would normally handle where it's profitable for them. If you want to represent this dynamic in the area as a whole, do some serious reading re: this reality in Latin America, Lebanon, or even some large American cities.

    The criminal syndicate (Syndikat) makes the usual money on fees, and of course they've created shipment nodes where it's easier to bring in any sort of cargo to places they effectively control. That's the obvious business case.

    The less obvious level involves the arrays of sensors quietly built into the pad, and to the systems that hook up incoming and outgoing ships for manifests, minor repairs, etc. The idea is to get a strong idea of exactly what's on board each ship, so the syndicate can accurately track trade patterns and inform its own buying, smuggling, etc. Not to mention the potential for "kompromat" as a potential lever with select rivals.

    The syndicate uses these "Spaceport Lily-Pads" (SLPs, or "Slips") as a training grounds for its own slicers (crackers), and as a Red Team exercise for its own smuggling ships. Can you hide smuggled cargo from your own side, before you have to hide it in major spaceports?

    The syndicate may run the Slips very directly, or the slicers may be separate from Slip Capo and part of very different groups.


    – PCs are trying to bring something important into a planet, and use a Slip to do it. What happens if the Slip's slicers become aware of what the PCs carry?

    – PCs are investigators, and an incoming item is physically dangerous. Dangerous enough that a Capo might be inclined to cooperate in fingering it. But the slicers would rather keep their capabilities unknown, even at local cost.

    This scenario can go so many ways. What if the PCs try to "slice the slicers" here, since Slips don't have the top teams? If they somehow succeed and realize there's more information available than there should be? Do they grasp the implications? What of the slicers get pulled out by their part of the Syndikat due to the danger, but the local Capo doesn't? What if the PCs convince the Syndikat and get tipped off when the item arrives, without being told how this happens. BUT, they have to do a "parallel construction" that explains how they got the bad guys without the Syndikat's help. Because if they show the Syndikat's hand in this, they're marked for death.

    – PCs could be part of the Syndikat, and some trends in the sensor data on the Slips becomes very interesting. That information begins driving adventures.

  3. I’m so glad you’ve expanded into sci-fi! I love fantasy, but somehow I’m running two sci-fi games right now instead. I could use some “space junk”, though – another assets set, maybe, like the sci-fi map assets pack, but intended for space exteriors (outsides of stations or ships, floating satellites, lane markers, weird things to salvage, a creepy empty spacesuit with broken helmet, etc). Some robots wouldn’t go amiss! Maybe some kind of industrial assembly line or factory? Your Cyberpunk sets and the new spaceships have been a huge help to my current games, and I’m very grateful. It’s been hard to find good quality sci-fi stuff!

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